Breast-feeding is something many new parents will receive advice and opinions on. While meant in good faith, new parenthood is a constant learning curve, and new parents can feel stressed out if their breastfeeding journey doesn’t meet expectations - whether it's their own, or those of others!
It’s easy to look at other moms and assume it happened naturally for them, but this isn’t always the case. Remember, breast-feeding doesn’t always work out for new parents and their babies - and that’s OK, too. Parenthood is about finding what’s best for you and your family.
If you’re just starting on your breast-feeding journey, we’ve put together some helpful breast-feeding tips for new parents to help you and your baby get on track.
Find a Comfortable Way to Hold your Baby
It's important that you feel comfortable when breast-feeding your baby. If you are still feeling lots of pain from giving birth, support yourself with pillows. Some parents find nursing pillows helpful, too - check out this list of favourites from The Bump.
Cradle your baby close to your breast, and try not to lean forward to bring your breast to them, as this can put strain on your body - especially soon after giving birth.
Look for Hunger Signals
When your baby is ready for another feed, they will let you know. Perhaps baby will root around in search for your nipple, look alert or put their hands in their mouths.
Newborns are hungry and initially you may have to breastfeed around 12 times a day. The more often you breastfeed your baby, the more milk your breasts will produce.
Eat Healthily and Keep yourself Hydrated
It's always a good idea to up your water intake, but it's particularly important to do so while breastfeeding. This is because the milk-making hormone, prolactin, helps your body conserve water. Not drinking enough of it will not affect the fluid content or volume of your milk.
Certain foods can also help increase the supply and quality of breast milk, including raw almonds, oatmeal, eggs, carrots, spinach and brown rice. Introducing these foods to your diet can also give your body the extra energy it needs for breast-feeding.
Practice Skin-to-Skin with a Joeyband™
Having your newborn baby placed on your chest for a period of time directly after birth is known as the “Golden Hour”. Studies and research (like this Stanford one) have shown that a baby who maintains skin-to-skin contact with its mother during this period is more likely to latch on to the breast.
If skin-to-skin contact continues for the following hours, days and weeks of your baby’s life - especially during the Fourth Trimester, your baby is not only more likely to breastfeed exclusively and for longer, but will also let you know when they are ready to feed.
As well as helping the colostrum (the first, nutrient-rich breast milk to protect baby) to flow more easily, skin-to-skin contact will help mom produce more of the hormone Oxytocin, which improves milk flow and bonding. It’s also been shown to help moms breastfeed longer by building milk supply and strengthening the bond with the baby.
Are you expecting a baby, or maybe you have a newborn? Follow us on Facebook or Instagram. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for our latest news and updates, or for more useful, baby-handling knowledge from our experienced Joeyband™ team.aby, as it can cause pain, especially soon after delivery.